I think I speak for the team (and many teachers at school) when I say that it feels much later than week three of school. Our recap of the work for the week are below:
1. Huge strides were made in planning our initial unit. We started together with a common essential question, planned a common seminar, split off into STEM and Humanities and planned a healthy outline of three weeks, and then came back together to compare. It is exhausting an exciting work. Anyone who thinks that the program is STEM-heavy will be humbled by the rigorous, but accessable plans that Kyaiera, Mike, and Christina are putting together. There’s also a continuous push for a cohesive mingling of subjects – imagine a history/math connection through logic via early 20th century Supreme Court arguments and a logic/poetry thread Kyaiera wants to tie in. Ask us about our first unit and we will share these ideas and more.
2. An ongoing task is reaching out to higher ed and starting a conversation around our program. We are contacting a slew of schools most appied to by GHS grads and asking tons of questions: What qualities are you looking for in your applicants? What do applicants from other innovative programs send you? What do their transcripts look like? What can we do to educate you about our program? We know that a well-designed Innovation Lab needs an equally stellar transition plan for our students. We’re on it.
3. We are going to have a second video chat with Mark Hines from the eXploratory program at Mid-Pacific in Hawaii next week. Also, we have a second video conference scheduled with a rep from Studio Schools over in the UK. More on them below:
4. We have some pretty important PR decisions that are getting made soon – we’re planning for student and parent outreach and backwards mapping the application/lottery process. We also are looking for the right way to educate teachers of freshmen so they can recommend students who would succeed in the InLab environment. Ideas are welcome.
5. We are so lucky to have such support around our school and in the educational community for our project. Our meetings are becoming a revolving door and we love it. Every day this week, we had visits or meetings with GHS leadership, GEA leadership, Greenwich Alliance leadership, and countless conversations with GHS teachers and staff about the project. This truly is a team effort and every discussion we have with others refines our own vision of the Innovation Lab. We keep inviting staff to be a fly on the wall or a contributing member to our planning meetings and love your thoughts on our work. We currently have invites out to community members as well. If you’re interested in dropping by, get in touch. Thank you for your input!